GA Programming Sneak Peek IV: Growing Healthy Congregations

Imagine our congregations as vibrant, growing centers of liberal faith, reaching out to the world with a message of hope! Congregations grow in number and impact one Sunday and one relationship at a time by focusing on mission, hospitality and spiritual depth.  Discover skills and practices to achieve vibrant, growing congregations at these and other GA programs.

Growing Healthy Congregations: Responding to Anxiety and Change
First of 3 workshops focused on building health in congregations and leadership. Congregations are viewed as emotional systems with identifiable processes that can support or block mission and growth.  Essential to health is the ability to manage anxiety and change. Each workshop focuses on a different aspect of congregational health.
Rev. Dr. Richard Speck
Rev. Kenneth Hurto

Growing Healthy Congregations: Non-Anxious Leadership and Healthy Relationships
Second of 3 workshops focused on building health in congregations and leadership. Congregations are viewed as emotional systems with identifiable processes that can support or block mission and growth.  Essential to health is non-anxious, thoughtful leadership and healthy internal relationships. Each workshops focuses on a different aspect of congregational health.
Patricia Infante
Rev. Joan VanBecelaere

Growing Healthy Congregations: Generosity and Spiritual Health
Third of  3 workshops focused on building health in congregations and leadership. Congregations are viewed as emotional systems with identifiable processes that can support or block mission and growth.   Essential to health is congregational attitude toward generosity, hospitality and spirituality. Each workshop focuses on a different aspect of congregational health.
Douglas Zelinski
Connie Goodbread

Congregations Count!
This popular workshop returns for a third year to help congregational leaders in their church’s membership efforts. Using tools from organizational development and quality process improvement, this workshop will show participants how to collect and use numbers to determine where a congregation can best focus their efforts.
Linda Laskowski

Lowering Barriers, Raising Commitment: Lessons Learned from Megachurches
Large evangelical churches’ success has less to do with doctrine and more to do with strengthening congregational bonds. The principles that evangelicals use to develop their communities can be authentically applied in growing our UU congregations. Learn strategies for outreach, integrating members, understanding member motivations, and increasing a congregation’s involvement.
Deborah Talen

Planning for Sustainable Growth
Leaders from 2 Central Midwest District Breakthrough congregations will explore the ways that they have used a deep, thoughtful and intentional process as a path to growth. The Appleton, WI and Peoria, IL congregations are growing in ways that will be sustained, not dependent on something transitory.
Rev. Michael Brown
Rev. Roger Bertschausen
Rev. Dottie Matthews
Dori Davenport Thexton

Breakthrough Congregation Workshop: Small and Medium Congregations
Hear the leaders of two of our four “Breakthrough Congregations” provide both inspiration and insight into how they have grown their congregations in both spirit and numbers by overcoming obstacles that had previously inhibited such growth.  This workshop is led by teams of lay leaders and clergy from the UU Fellowship of Mankato, Minnesota (100 adult members) and the UU Area Church at First Parish, Sherborn, Massachusetts (225 adult members).

Breakthrough Congregations Workshop: Medium and Large Congregations
Hear the leaders of two of our four “Breakthrough Congregations” provide both inspiration and insight into how they have grown their congregations in both spirit and numbers by overcoming obstacles that had previously inhibited such growth.  This workshop is led by teams of lay leaders and clergy from the UU Church of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (393 adult members) and Unitarian Church of Summit, New Jersey (516 adult members).

GA Programming Sneak Peek III: Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, Multicultural (ARAOMC) Programming

We are called to create multicultural, multiracial congregations that minister to each rising generation in a changing American society. The following programs scheduled for this GA will help us on the journey.

UU Leaders speaking on ARAOMC at GA
Rev. Peter Morales, Rev. Dr. Qiyamah Rahman, Rev. Rob Hardies, Gini Courter, Janice Marie Johnson, Rev. Dr. Fred Muir, Rev. Deborah Holder and Rev. Marlin Lavanhar

Crossing Borders: Congregational Ministry in Immigrant Communities
As our nation becomes more multicultural, our congregations have a role to play in building bridges and welcoming our neighbors.  UUA President Peter Morales and leaders from Unitarian Universalist congregations share inspiration and learnings from partnering with immigrant communities.  Learn how your congregation can engage in this ministry of hospitality.
Rev. Peter Morales
Deb Rogers
Walt Staton

Creating a Multicultural Future: The Question of Governance
As we build a religious community that includes the many cultures of our land, we are also called to examine how the governance of our congregations and Association aids or hampers that effort. We will examine the question of governance practices through an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and multicultural lens.
Gini Courter
Rev. Leslie Takahashi Morris
Rev. Clyde Grubbs
Rev. Hope Johnson

Accessibility, Theology and Justice
The inherent worth and dignity of every person means that Unitarian Universalist congregations must make themselves accessible to people with diverse abilities and disabilities.  Congregations on the path to full inclusion with regard to disabilities share their stories about how accessibility is both a theological and justice-based issue.
Rev. Dr. Devorah Greenstein

Governance Transformation from an Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppressive Lens
Informed by Policy Governance and the work of the Fifth Principle Task Force, the UUA Board is considering significant governance changes on the UUA Board, at General Assembly, and in Districts. Join a facilitated conversation on how we incorporate our anti-racist, anti-oppressive values into this work.
Nick Allen
Chuch Wooldridge

Introduction to Racial/Ethnic Caucusing
This program will introduce Multi-ethnic, People of Color and White Allies to Identity Caucusing. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their racial/ethnic identity in a safe supportive environment.  Additionally, this program is designed to empower participants to support their congregation and district in becoming ethnically diverse multicultural faith communities.
Rebecca Swenson
Matthew McHale
Michael Sallwasser
Rev. Dr. Monica Cummings

Mosaic Ministry: Welcoming Youth & Young Adults of Color
The Mosaic Report is the voices of Unitarian Universalist youth and young adults of color describing their experiences and their hopes for Unitarian Universalist ministry.  Learn how to use this report to transform youth and young adult ministry to make it culturally relevant for the 21st century generation.
Rev. Dr. Monica L. Cummings
Janice Marie Johnson

Multicultural Membership Journey
Often our congregations fragment membership and social justice work, perhaps initiating a social justice or antiracism program, but not changing membership practices in alignment with those justice learnings. We will encourage ever growing awareness toward a shift in understanding, how to change membership practices, and develop competencies of inclusion.
Janice Marie Johnson
Rev. Alicia Forde
Susanna Whitman

Nurturing Community, Building Solidarity
Spiritual growth in the work of personal and social transformation is the increasing ability to live in connection with one another and in active relationship to mission. In the context of diverse, multigenerational religious community, how do we talk about race, class, and privilege in ways that empower, liberating all from prescribed ways of being?
Rev. Deborah Holder

Our Journey Stories: Creating Multiracial and Multicultural Congregations
A unique panel of ministers and laity, leading dynamic multiracial and multicultural congregations and/or doing transformational work on the edge within our movement. They will share the stories of their faith communities and organizations and how they have successfully thrived and survived on the journey toward a more radical diversity.
Rev. Dr. Qiyamah Rahman
Rev. Marlin Lavanhar
Rev. Rob Hardies
Rev. Dr. Fred Muir

Reflecting on Stories of Black UU Women
The black women in Qiyamah Rahman’s stories are representative of the women our congregations yearn to embrace and welcome into their sanctuaries. Understanding the stories and the personalities may facilitate breakthroughs in hospitality and sisterhood.
Rev. Dr. Qiyamah Rahman

Self-Identity…Who Am I?
The search for “cultural identity” is a common issue especially with many People of Color.  Magdalen Hsu-Li is a young adult Asian woman who had dealt with being “out” as a Bi person and dealing with a severe disability, Tourette’s syndrome.  Her experiences are inspirational and spiritual through lecture and song.
Magdalen Hsu-Li
David Yamashita

Speed Bumps, Stalling and Roadside Assistance on the Journey
The road to Beloved Community is bumpy. Obstacles often leave us stranded on the shoulder. Faith calls us onward. The Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee invites you to hear how we’ve overcome past obstacles, look at speed bumps in the road today, and receive tools to keep you moving forward.
Michael Sallwasser
Rev. Wendy von Zirpolo

Strategies for Growing Inclusive, Multicultural Congregations & Ministries
Multicultural congregations are the leading edge of new ministries for new times. Join a dynamic group of leaders sharing their strategies and theological grounding for creating intentionally inclusive, multicultural congregations.  Told from a variety of perspectives that reflect some of the many paths to multiculturalism.
Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Rev. Marlin Lavanhar

GA Programming Sneak Peek II: Theology and Spiritual Development

Come to GA to nourish the mind and the spirit!  The following programs scheduled for this GA will delve into the theological and spiritual foundation of our Unitarian Universalist faith.  Programs are subject to change.

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker and Rev. John Buehrens will co-present "A House for Hope: Our Theological Foundation"

A House for Hope: Our Theological Foundation
In order to grow our faith, we all need to be better versed in our own theology, in what we believe and what we offer. This workshop lays out UUism’s theological and spiritual heritage and challenges us to revitalize our theological identity for the twenty-first century.
Rev. Dr. John A. Buehrens
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker

Cultivate a Peaceful Mind and a Good Heart
To cultivate a peaceful mind and a good heart, we must be able to listen for that still small inner voice that speaks in silence. This workshop will offer instruction in the philosophy and practice of superconscious meditation as a foundation for spiritually conscious living and ultimate fulfillment.
Rev. Ellen Grace O’Brian

Fahs Lecture: Warping and Woofing Through the Human Tapestry
Unitarian Universalists have a unique opportunity for bridge-building between theistic and non-theistic worldviews. Learn how to build communities that invite “engaged co-existence”, a posture that celebrates a diversity of worldviews while inviting discourse and challenge, encouraging each toward its best expression.
Dale McGowan

Faith Formation 2020: Called to Read the Signs
While nobody knows what the future will bring, we can see the trends and forces which might influence it: What will faith formation in our congregations look like in 2020? This workshop will examine thirteen trends and four scenarios that hold the key to the future of UU faith formation.
Rev. Sue Sinnamon
Rev. Phillip Lund

Finding Spirituality in Each Moment
We are spiritual beings every moment of our lives.  As we go about our daily routines, we tend to forget who we really are.  Come join us as we create a peaceful atmosphere for remembering who we are and recognizing the possibilities of the spiritual in all that we do and in all of life.
Joy-Ellen Lipsky
Rev. Lilia Cuervo

Good Without God: Something Nonbelievers Can Believe in
Focusing on the heart of Humanism, we can strive to live well, build community, and be good—without higher powers. To millions searching for something to believe in, we offer comfort and hope, affirming our common ability to live ethical, fulfilling lives, aspiring together for the greater good of all.
Greg Epstein

John Murray Distinguished Lecture: Connecting Beauty and Justice
Where do UUs find theological and spiritual grounding for our commitment to justice-making?  Rumi said, “Let the beauty we love become the good we do.” This lecture will explore the place of beauty in Universalist theologies of salvation–especially the theology of Hosea Ballou.  We can draw on this remarkable ancestor to formulate an insightful, affirmative theology of anti-oppressive engagement that will deepen our spirituality and fuel our passion for justice.
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

Spiritual Fluidity:  Towards Multi-religious Thea/ological Education
Spiritual aesthetics of fluidity towards multi-religious thea/ological education is steeped in UU respect for wisdom inherent in faiths where the creative application of fostering multi-religious understanding, countering oppressions and creating just and sustainable communities intersect.  Learn how we tap this fluidity and how its relevant to 21st century Unitarian Universalism.
Dr. Ibrahim Farajaje
Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker

GA Programming Sneak Peek: Worship Resources for Congregations

At GA this year, there will be multiple programs to provide resources to congregations for the development of vibrant, meaningful worship services that are intergenerationally and multiculturally inclusive.

GA attendees engaged at a 2009 workshop.
Engaged GA attendees at a 2009 workshop.

The anticipated programs you can look forward to are:

Worship for a New Age
Skinner House authors Mark Belletini, Wayne Arnason and Erika Hewitt will share their own experiences as worship planner and leaders, exploring successful strategies as well as missteps. Topics include intergenerational worship, prayer and meditation, alternative worship formats, new music, small group worship and more.
Rev. Mark Belletini
Rev. Wayne Arnason
Rev. Erika Hewitt
Mary Benard

Best Practices in Cross-cultural Engagement
Through song and story, the Council for Cross-cultural Engagement examines respectful use of worship materials from many backgrounds and cultures.  We will explore how congregations can increase cultural awareness in worship and build stronger relationships in the larger community.
Dr. Keith Arnold
Rev. Danielle Di Bona
Rev. Wendy von Zipolo

Engaging Music: Heart, Mind, Voice & Hand

Active participation within our gatherings is key to vibrant communal experience.  Music, movement and silence each offer powerful opportunities to engage participation. With a focus on ‘take-home’ learning, we’ll celebrate a short worship service, then explore together both the how-to’s and the conceptual grounding of what we’ve experienced.
Rev. Kevin Tarsa
Karen McCarthy

Love Saves: A Presentation of Useful Stories
A sharing of stories from contemporary experience, our history, the imagination and real life—stories useful in Sunday worship, as religious education resources and for personal meditation, stories that celebrate our deep affirmation that “Love Saves.” Drawn from stories the Universalist Heritage Foundation is gathering for an upcoming anthology.
Rev. William Sinkford
Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt
Rev. Paul S. Sawyer
Rev. Jeanne Nieuwejaar

Multicultural UU Worship: Embodying It
More than preaching, music, and education in a cross-cultural context, multicultural UU worship offers vital spiritual formation for congregational ministry while modeling and celebrating the sacred. Worship with us. Learn how presenters including Rev. Leslie Takahashi Morris and Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones are transforming worship to reflect multicultural UU community.
Rev. Alma Crawford
Rev. David Herndon
Rev. John Crestwell
Rev. Dr. Fred Muir

Singing Meditation: A Ministry of Song and Silence
Singing Meditation is an alternative form of worship that alternates repetitive singing of short, simple, interfaith songs with periods of undirected silence. Workshop includes brief lecture about the universal appeal of song and silence across cultures, the basics of starting a group, and concludes with a singing meditation session.
Ruthie Rosauer
Liz Hill

Story + Song + Spirit = Creative Worship for All Ages
Is your congregation seeking ways to enrich spiritual depth by crafting engaging, creative worship services for all ages? Come explore the key characteristics of dynamic, story-based worship services, as we go through the steps of creating one (in small groups) from opening words to benediction.
Rev. Erika Hewitt

UU Music Worship for the 21st Century
A vibrant movement of UU musicians is creating new music with relevant messages, inclusive of all and inviting to younger generations.  Jim Scott, and friends Amy Carol Grant, Rev. Fred Small and Matt Meyer will raise the roof, celebrating our ideals and demonstrating song-leading techniques to enrich our worship.
Jim Scott
Rev. Fred Small
Amy Carol Webb
Matt Meyer

UU Worship + Jewish Scripture = Diversity and Growth
Easy effective ways for congregations to be more inclusive, live out UU values, and make themselves welcoming to non-Christians.  Participants learn the basic Jewish scriptures: Torah, Tanakh, Talmud, Mishna, and Gomorrah.  Examples of wisdom in each that can enrich UU religious services.  Jewish holidays and observances to enrich UU worship.
Dr. PD Wadler

Weaving the Web of Worship
Two years ago the office of Worship and Music Resources came into being.  What’s happened since, and what might happen going forward?  Come learn how you can help weave a strong and beautiful web of resources to deepen the worship life of our congregation.
Rev. Erik Wikstrom

Young Adults and Worship: Soulful Sundown and Beyond
Hear about ways to bring contemporary worship into your congregation.  Our speakers will talk about how to create new worship opportunities that satisfy young adults and how to bring contemporary worship elements into your Sunday morning service.
Rev. Michael Tino
Rev. Scott Sammler-Michael
Aidan McCormack
Matt Meyer

Announcing Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich’s GA Workshop Series, “The Necessity of Virtue”

We are delighted that the Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich, Senior Minister of All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City, will be returning as a GA presenter!  He will be following up last year’s hugely popular UU University program track, Theology for a Secular Age with an eight-part workshop series entitled The Necessity of Virtue.

In The Necessity of Virtue, the Rev. Dr. Guengerich will ask us to ponder, “What is your ethical basis for deciding what to do and how to live? How do you determine what you ought to do? The two most popular answers look either to commandments or to outcomes. Neither satisfies: divine commands are human ideas projected onto the divine, and the greatest good for the greatest number can trample the needs of the few. A more promising answer suggests we do what an ethical person—someone who has fulfilled his or her distinctive potential as a human being—would do. The key to happiness, Aristotle insists, is virtue: the state of character in which we fulfill our potential by living as human beings ought to live. In religious terms, this path leads to salvation not by grace or by faith, but to salvation by character.”

In the first workshop of this series, The Key to Happiness, we will explore how we can utilize our distinct human ability to think and reason to achieve the state of character known as virtue.  This will be followed by seven workshops that will delve into the virtues of Wisdom, Courage, Compassion, Justice, Temperance, Transcendence and Hope in order to achieve that key to happiness.

The Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich presenting "Theology for a Secular Age" at the 2009 General Assembly in Salt Lake City.
The Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich presenting "Theology for a Secular Age" at the 2009 General Assembly in Salt Lake City.